People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said in Srinagar on Tuesday that her party’s proposal for self-rule in Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir amounted to azadi (freedom).
She told mediapersons at her residence in Srinagar that self-rule means freedom from the “siege” the people of Kashmir are now under. “Kashmir has been under siege emotionally, mentally, politically and economically as we are not only separated from a part of Kashmir but also the route which connected us to the rest of the world for centuries was closed,’’ she said.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has launched a campaign to mobilise people on its self-rule agenda.
While seminars on self-rule are being held across the state, the PDP is using the party membership card to drive home its message.
The PDP started a membership drive on September 28 and cards being issued to members have a self-rule pledge on the flipside. The card highlights the seven main points of the party’s envisaged solution for the Kashmir problem.
With a border in different hues of green, the card has a map of undivided Kashmir printed on it. While the Indian part is saffron, the Pakistani-occupied part is coloured green. Aksai Chin, “the area of Kashmir controlled by China” is highlighted in mustard. The card has been printed in English, Urdu and Hindi for all the three regions of the state, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
“We are talking about a viable solution within the Constitution of the country,” PDP spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar said.
Focus on Geelani
Meanwhile, the Centre is trying to bring separatist leader Geelani on board for a comprehensive dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre feels there is a “need to accommodate even the dissenting view” to make the talks with the leadership in J&K look credible, a government official, who did not wish to be named, told HT.
“If he gives up describing Kashmir as a disputed territory, he may be invited for talks,” the source said.
Geelani, however, said, “My stand is very clear that unless Kashmir is acknowledged as a disputed territory and there is a complete withdrawal of Indian troops from Kashmir, there is no question of any dialogue.”